Introduction by Kevin ChowWrite-Up by Aarin GatesInterview by Ian BallFilming, Edit & Photography by Aarin GatesAdditional Filming by Quinn Feldman I first met Tyler when he was about four and a half feet tall; hucking crazy spins over the launch box at the local skate park. From the first time I saw him blade I could tell he had that natural talent that would take him far. Over the last 8 years or so, I’ve watched him grow into an amazing blader with one of the smoothest styles and a very large trick vocabulary. He is constantly progressing and pushing himself to learn new tricks, and he does not quit till he gets them perfect! Tyler is always the life of the party and never fails to make everybody laugh with all of his crazy antics! After all these years I’m proud to say that Tyler is one of my closest friends and one of the most talented bladers I’ve ever met. -Aarin Gates Name Tyler Hester Age 22 Location Simi Valley, CA Years Skating 10 What motived you to start Rollerblading? Growing up I did every sport from skateboarding to BMXing. A close friend of mine at the time built a launch box in front of his house and we would session it every day. I was really into skateboarding at the time but I had some old skates in my garage and I thought it would be fun to jump the box in them. After that I was hooked! Where does your inspiration come from when you skate? My inspiration comes from seeing all my friends learning new tricks and going hard. I love watching them progress and that’s what pushes me every time I strap on my skates. Also, watching kids from my generation of skating coming up and killing it like Josiah Blee and Sneak motivate me a lot. Some of the most famous and recognizable rails in rollerblading are the rails at Moorpark College. Having lived so close for so long, you always had the chance to skate there pretty much whenever you wanted. How did growing up skating Moorpark impact your skating? Moorpark was always the place for me to learn new tricks. I would first try all my tricks at Skatelab, my hometown skate park, and then when it was time to take it to street, Moorpark was always the first place to go. The rails are perfect and low, so that is where my rail skating really started. It was always great being able to use Moorpark like a training ground. After learning tricks at Skatelab and then doing them at Moorpark, I was confident in taking them to bigger and harder obstacles. You grew up skating in the Internet age, so instead of starting to gain recognition through magazine shots or clips in videos, you gained notoriety from your online edits. How many edits have you put out? Growing up in the suburbs outside of LA I had no connections. I realized I had to make a name for myself by myself so I just started putting out edits with one of my best friends AG. All in all I’ve put out about 6 profiles starting with my Breathe edit, Franco Shade contest entry, Never Forget Me, Flowmotion, M1, and my AChosen-Few.com profile. So Aarin makes most of your edits, and you guys are skating together all the time. How has skating with her impacted your skating? I’ve known Aarin for a very long time and she is one of the main reasons why I am still blading today. When I was younger she would pick me up every weekend to blade with the crew and brought me into the skate scene. AG has been my main filmer from day one and has helped me out a lot. She is an amazing skater and a great friend. You mentioned that your newest edit was the A Chosen Few edit. How has skating and filming with Quinn affected your skating? Quinn always pushes me. He’s an incredible skater and always gets me juiced to learn new tricks. Seeing how hard he skates and watching him take these brutal falls and get back up to lace a trick just motivates me to skate harder. You’ve recently become a sponsored skater. Who are your sponsors? I’m sponsored by USD and A Chosen Few. USD is and always has been one of the major players in the industry; how did that sponsorship come about? It all happened at the first Chosen Few contest, in Pasadena. I was skating Razors at the time but they never did anything to help me out with skates or anything like that – I was just skating Razors because that’s what I was skating. After the contest, Demetrios came up to me and told me, “We gotta get you on some USD’s!” I was super juiced! After talking to him for a few weeks and some emails I got put on the team. Big shout out to Demetrios! So with the changes in management at USD and stuff like that have you always had a good relationship with them and getting product and what you need? Yeah USD has been very good to me. Whenever I need anything they always get back to me ASAP and that’s why I love being a part of their team, and because they have the best skates on the market as well. Since you started skating for The Conference, you’ve been skating the carbons. What is your current setup and why would you recommend it to others? I currently skate the White Carbon Frees with Slimline Frames and Eulogy Wheels. The Carbon and Carbon Free skates are the best skates I’ve ever ridden. The flex is ridiculously good and they’re the most stylish skates in the game right now – just check the edit! Throughout the years people have become aware of your extraordinarily precise and tech skating. Still some tend to overlook the fact that you are also known for dropping hammers. Are you a tech kid or do you go big? Just look at the edits and decide for yourself. It’s all there. Sometimes I feel like doing something tech and sometimes I want to do a stunt. Just depends on my mood really. What was the best moment ever for you in and around rollerblading? It has to be winning my first competition. I won The Valley Street Battle when I was 17 and it was the best feeling I’ve ever had. Everybody cheering and going insane felt amazing and almost unreal. I’ve never experienced anything like that before and it was always a goal of mine to win a skate competition. It’s a moment I’ll never forget. How supportive have your parents been? I have the best family ever. They’ve supported me since day one especially my mom. I remember back in the day just sitting in my living room with my mom watching skate videos. She would always critique me and tell me how I should make tricks look and stuff like that it was pretty funny. My grandpa is also a huge influence on me. He always encourages me to be the best I can be at this sport and seeing him at the age of 80 and still running every day and playing 18 hole golf courses on a daily basis is a true inspiration. Some people are fascinated about your switch-up skills and technique in blading. How did you achieve your technical skills? Training or talent? Talent was always a factor but training is key. I couldn’t just hurricane top soul a rail when I first started skating. I learned the basics and moved my way up overtime with constantly pushing myself and practicing. I will skate hours on end trying to learn new tricks and at the end of the day if I want to land a trick I will because of how I grew up skating and always wanting to progress. So I believe it all comes down to training and commitment. You seem to be blessed with a tightly knit group of friends of which many are – in one way or the other – involved in rollerblading. What’s that like? Does it make things easier or do you feel like it’d be better to separate rolling life from your everyday life? All my best friends are rollerbladers and I would never want that to change. I’ve known most of them for 8 years or more and they’re family to me. Best thing I’ve gotten out of rollerblading. What are your plans for the rest of this year and do you have any other future plans for skating? Any competitions, tours, or videos? As of right now I’m just taking it day by day. No videos or anything like that but I’m still going to be skating as hard as I can and put out as much content as possible this year. If you had to organize your dream session, where would it be and whom would it be with? I don’t really care where it would be, as long as it’s with all my close friends. People like Nir, Aarin, Serjio, Toby, Sly, Pat, Ian, Kiley, Brent, and Quinn. I have the most fun skating with these people so that’s who it would be with. What other interests do you have besides skating? I like to golf, play pool, and I love music.My headphones are in my ears almost 24/7. Plenty of good times on the golf course and playing pool at Season Ticket. How about that one-armed girl who always sings that nasty Madonna song or the dog who barks along to “How Much is that Doggie in the Window “or that Kid Rock song, “All Summer Long”? Yeah man Season Ticket is where it’s at hahaha. Find more “Up and comers” on Be-Mag here.